Are comments like this permitted on AskUbuntu:

A Promo?

There is a flag for questions and answers to mark them as spam if they are promoting a product or service without clearly stating the author's affiliation, so this comment doesn't really fit into that category. Reading through the Code of Conduct, I'm not seeing anything specifically saying that a person cannot offer their services. However, this is something that is generally not seen on AskUbuntu.

My understanding is that the community helps individuals solve problems in an open and accessible manner so that people with the same question in the future will – hopefully – have a reliable and reproducible solution. Offering services, regardless of how professional the individual or organisation may be, is the opposite of open and accessible.

With this in mind, should the comment be flagged as "Something Else" with the gist of this Meta question? Or are we permitted to offer professional services to people with technical problems?

Infinite Flags!

  • 6
    Yes, flag these. Either use Mod attention custom flags or No Longer Needed, but mod attention is probably the better flag with a description in this case.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


I don't think that should happen. If that person knows an answer to the question, then they should post an answer. They can ask for clarification in comments. Chat also exists for extended discussion. Posting half answers in comments is already discouraged, because if the commenter's suggestion is wrong, we can't downvote it.

I would even go so far as to say talking offline like that hurts the site. SE sites are meant to be a collection of knowledge, and so questions should be useful for more than just the OP. If they talk off-site, and then self-answer, or get the person to post an answer, then that isn't terrible. But... I find that often they won't come back to do that, so it's better if communication stays on-site. Of course, we also have chat, which works just fine.

I would flag as Needs Moderator Attention or No Longer Needed, but I'm not sure which is correct.

See also this question for a related discussion.

  • 6
    I agree that soliciting for offline help services should be discouraged at Ask Ubuntu. Some people will offer personal help out of a sincere desire to help the community, and other people will trade on Ubuntu's good reputation as an opportunity to advertise their wares and ask for money. Unfortunately there is no other practical way to separate the sheep from the wolves.
    – karel
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 14:29
  • 6
    Unfortunately, there's also a third and even less desirable outcome: That the "helper" actually has bad intend, and is trying to scam or trick the poster (maybe unlikely, but this is the internet after all). So yet another reason to report comments like this. Commented Jan 4, 2022 at 10:09

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